Dental health is one of the most overlooked aspect of dog care, but did you know dental issues are one of the most commonly treated ailment by vets? Yes, it’s true! Dental health is important for dogs, just like it is for humans.
Dogs are actually more susceptible to dental health issues simply because of the chemistry of their mouth. They have more alkaline mouths which bacteria and plaque thrive in. That means we, as responsible dog owners, need to be aware of the dangers of dental health issues.
So Why Is Dental Health Important for Dogs?
Dental health is important for dogs because we never want our animals to suffer! A lack of care for our dog’s dental health can cause serious implications, such as pain, infection, and tooth loss.
Two common dental health issues for dogs are fractured teeth and dental disease. For this post, we’re focusing more on dental disease, but you can click here for resources on fractured teeth.
Dental Disease Starts Early
I can’t tell you how many times a dog owner has asked me why dental health is important for dogs, but especially young dogs. Dental disease doesn’t care about the age of a dog. In fact, VCA states that 80% of dogs over three years old will develop dental disease.
It’s one the the most commonly seen conditions by vets!
Begin dental health education to avoid being in that 80%! Regular brushing, chewing, or other forms of cleaning are a great place to start when taking your dog’s dental health more seriously.
Check out our post on natural chews for dental health here.
Dental Disease Can Lead to Tooth Loss
You don’t want to remove some of your dog’s teeth, right? No! Of course not!
Untreated dental disease can quickly and easily result in your dog needing a tooth pulled. When bacteria is built up on your dog’s plaque and tartar, it can make its way under their gums. When bacteria makes its way under the gum line, it begins to break down the structures that hold your dog’s teeth in. It breaks down their gums, the tooth itself, and even bone tissue!
Dental health is important for dogs so that this doesn’t happen. When a tooth becomes infected, it can likely be saved if caught early on, but sometimes it can’t be saved and your vet will have to extract it.
Dental Disease Can be Painful
Dental disease can be painful for your dog, which is just another reason why dental health is important for dogs.
With bacteria breaking down your dog’s teeth, gums, and potentially bones, it’s probably not surprising that dental disease can be painful for your dog. You may notice your dog avoid food or chewing on their favorite toys. Your dog also may be drooling more than usual, have bad breath, or become mouth “shy.”
Catching dental health issues early is key to avoiding discomfort for your dog. If you think your dog may be in pain in their mouth, call your vet! You don’t want their well-being to suffer.
Dental Disease Can Affect Other Parts of the Body
It’s weird to think that something wrong with your dog’s mouth could cause an issue in their heart, but it can!
Banfield Pet Hospital conducted a study and found that pets with periodontal disease are more likely to have heart disease. This is because bacteria from your dog’s mouth are continuously entering the bloodstream. Bad bacteria in their mouth can be bad bacteria in the rest of their body and can cause organ damage.
What Can be Done for Dog Dental Health?
Dental health awareness is key to decreasing dental health issues in dogs. February is dental health awareness month so there are tons of different campaigns and articles being written about the subject.
Regular brushing and chewing are two great ways to decrease the change of dental disease and other dental health issues. You can also try using dental wipes or water additives.
Overall, it’s important to keep your dog’s dental health in mind. We often get “comfortable” with bad dog breath and don’t realize it might be because of something more serious.
If you suspect your dog has dental health issues, talk to your vet! You will be thankful you did, even if there’s nothing wrong.